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Sela Ward replacing Melina Kanakaredes on CSI: NY

Deanna Barnert covers entertainment from all the corners. Stay tuned to SheKnows for Deanna's in depth reports on everything you need to know about television, film and celeb gossip.

Sela Ward joins CSI: NY team

With Melina Kanakaredes leaving, Emmy winner Sela Ward is jumping back into series television and has joined the CSI: NY team.

Sela Ward

The tittering over who might replace Melina Kanakaredes started as soon as word broke Monday that she wasn't going to renew her contract, which expired at the end of last season.

CBS has now confirmed that Sela Ward has signed on the dotted line!

"We are delighted to have Sela joining CSI: NY," Executive Producer Pam Veasey said. "With the exciting stories planned for Season 7, she'll be a dynamic addition to the cast and the team."

Sela Ward's new gig has her playing an experienced and empathetic investigator from Washington, DC who will show up onscreen for the season premiere.

"I am thrilled to be working with Gary (Sinise, who plays Mac) and this terrific group of people," Sela Ward raved. "I'm a huge fan."

Ward won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1994 and 2000 for her roles on Sisters and Once and Again.

CSI: NY

Ward shared the spotlight with Bill Campbell in the soapy series Once and Again from 1999-2002, but since the show ended, Sela Ward has stuck to low-key and short-term gigs like playing House's ex on House and starring in the telefilms Suburban Madness and Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story.

Sela Ward also did some work on the big screen, including roles in The Guardian and The Day After Tomorrow.

Word was that Sela Ward had been avoiding another leading series role in order to keep motherhood a priority. Perhaps now that her kids with hubby Howard Sherman are 15 and 12 years old, she has more time on her hands and is ready to jump back into the action.

Whatever the reason, SheKnows can't wait to see what she brings to CSI: NY, which moves to Fridays at 9 pm when it returns this fall.

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